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Breast feeding is the worst mistake I've ever made

(38 Posts)
elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 10:53:16

I breast fed for over a year resulting in a very clingy 19 month old dd. Well, thats what I think caused it.
I have had just 1 night away from her since she was born and no one will even try and have her now because she just screams.
Shes kind of ok if I leave her with her dad but very unhappy so I've only been away from her for a few hours twice this year.
If me and dp are out and he tries to carry her she screams uncontrollably until I have her back.
This is really getting me down. I'm 21 and I still want some kind of life, but I just exist for dd right now

suzywong Tue 10-May-05 10:56:44

sorry to hear you're having difficulties and I can understand you feeling cornered but are you certain it was the breastfeeding?

Blu Tue 10-May-05 10:57:06

It's a phase, it's not b/f, honest! My DS went berserk when I left him for overnight the first time at that age - do it again soon so that she learns that even if Mummy is away at unusual times, bedtime, breakfast etc, she really does come back.
Leave her with her Daddy for short periods on a regular basis - as soon as she learns that you re-appear after absence, she'll calm down.

fastasleep Tue 10-May-05 10:59:00

Have you seen the house of tiny tearaways on bbc 3/bbc 2? There's a family there with an older DD with pretty much the same problem, it might be worth watching it for a few tips from the psychologist?

piffle Tue 10-May-05 11:02:37

I b/f my ds and dd until they were 16mths, both could not be left at 20 mths but by 2.5 they were really happy to stay with granny now.
It does get better honest xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Donbean Tue 10-May-05 11:02:50

im not at all convinced that this is to do with breast feeding. Im thinking its more a separation thing and i believe from the numerous threads posted on this that its quite quite normal behaviour and one of those phase thingies (just a long one in your case).
You say she stays with her dad, do you think it could have something to do with that and her perhaps bieng confused about her routine bieng disrupted to stay with some one else in an environment which isnt her own? Perhaps in her little head she thinks you are leaving her?
Just thinking about it from her POV.

assumedname Tue 10-May-05 11:03:44

When you go out, leave something of yours with her that she sees you using regularly. It might help her to realise that you're coming back if she's got your favourite scarf, or whatever. It'd probably help if it smells of you.

My 6 year old is still reassured by having my used (!) t-shirts in bed occasionally.

Donbean Tue 10-May-05 11:04:19

How about making it bite sized, you know leaving her for shorter periods and making them longer over time.

lailag Tue 10-May-05 11:07:26

Fully agree with Blu, dd is pretty much the same when I'm around, BUT if I am away and she has "just" daddy then she is fine.She is still being bf at 2 y, but as said, on days I'm away she is fine as well.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:08:38

If I hadn't have breast fed then I'd have left her more with her grandparents at an early age. But instead I had to be there at every feed time.
My mom had the same problem with me when I was a baby but no problems with my brother who was bottle fed.
I have been watching that house of tiny tearaways.
I joined a gym and went every other day for 1 month - this was last november. Ellie was terrible each time so I haven't been since.
She doesn't talk yey, maybe it'll get easier when she does.

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:08:49

I honestly think it's probably not due to breastfeeding either. I fed DD1 for 14 months and didn't really have clingy problems, but friends who didn't breastfeed have experienced the same as you.

They overcame it by doing as Blu suggested; leaving for short ammounts of time quite often initially to reassure the LO's that mum would return, even if it's just to nip to post a letter or similar.

I found with my DD1 that (although she wasn't clingy as such), giving her a kiss on her head as I slipped out without even muttering 'good bye' really helped. If she was involved in something else, she wouldn't really notice . I already have to do the same with DD2 (8 months) if she hears 'Good bye' she becomes upset, whereas if I sneak away, she barely notices.

HTH and it will beocome easier!

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:11:13

....sorry! There have been loads of posts since I started typing .

ruty Tue 10-May-05 11:11:51

its so great that you are so young and you breastfed - so many mothers under 25 don't. You've given your dd the best start, and all children have their clingy times, in fact bfeeding a child can make them more secure. You will get thru this tricky time, and get more time for yourself again.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:13:11

I went to the football a few months ago, her dad turned the music up really loud and I just slipped out without her noticing. But after a few mins she noticed I wasn't there. She cried for half an hour and then just lay on the floor in my bedroom for most of the time I was gone.
I feel so guilty leaving her.
If I leave her with my mom who she does see alot she goes crazy!

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:15:18

How about setting up an interesting and/or new activity for her dad or whoever is minding her to open up just before you leave? Play dough / painting / glue and glitter, that sort of thing? That way she might be really involved?

Marina Tue 10-May-05 11:16:00

Honestly, elsmommy, it IS a phase and it isn't connected to breast-feeding, I am so sad you feel this way when you have done your very best for your dd.
As everyone else says, it does get better, but I do know what a pain it can be XXX

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:17:08

Don't feel guilty! You're doing your best to help her through something, which has to be done at some point.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:23:32

I just can't see how its gonna get better. I just sit here in the flat day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after.........

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:24:41

Are you in a surestart area?

beansmum Tue 10-May-05 11:26:15

can't you go out with dd? Just while she's going through this clingy phase. You don't have to leave the baby behind to have fun.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:32:48

I took her to a surestart moms and toddlers thing but she just wouldn't leave me and screamed through most of it. I only went twice.
I used to take her to the park every nice day but now we've got the problem that she screams in her pushchair cos she wants to walk. So I let her but she won't walk with a wrist strap or reins -she just lies on the floor and now she won't even hold my hand.
I'm not making excuses or exaggerating, she is really like this

BadgerBadger Tue 10-May-05 11:38:35

Why didn't you go back to the M and T group? It may well take more than two sessions for her to relax a bit, it might be worth going back?

I believe you aren't exaggerating BTW , I know several friends with children who behave just like this.

Re the buggy, with DD1 I found giving a choice of either sitting in the buggy or holding my hand worked quite well. That way she could pick whichever she was happier with, the only other option left would be her least favoured.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:44:22

I did take her to a tumble tots session a few weeks ago. I think she quite liked been with other kids but one of the staff tried to put her on a swing thing and after that I couldn't stop her crying.
It was also quite expensive and I'm not paying that if she doesn't enjoy it.
I took her to be weighed last week and I ended up holding the hood on her jacket while she walked. She used to love going for walks and wouldn't go anywhere unless she was holding my hand. I don't know why shes changed.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 11:46:17

Sorry I didn't go back cos she screamed all the way through, twice!! I just assumed she didn't like it.

puddle Tue 10-May-05 11:48:18

Elsmummy when you are at the m and t group with her and she's screaming is she literally sitting on your lap screaming? Or are you trying to get her to be involved in the activities and she's getting upset?

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